We've gone outside the industry. We just hired a fellow to run our commercial loan operation, who has no lending experience. We also just hired a new general counsel. The only relationship he had with a bank was his checking account. He was the general counsel with Brown Williamson Tobacco.
We needed a general counsel and this guy has one of the finest legal minds I have ever worked with. He has given a whole new perspective to running a bank as a business instead of just a bank.
The way we view the world of banking today is things are changing so rapidly that if we become aware of a very good person that has a special expertise we are willing to talk with him. To compete in today's marketplace we've got to be more agile than the big guys.
None. We are just on hold as far as employees go. It's not a freeze, we are just replacing turnover. They are bookkeeping, teller, and secretarial-type positions.
We are in a one-industry town, Los Alamos National Laboratory. When they are hiring we have turnover. That's how it works; it's real simple.
It is not our officers, it is the secretaries, bookkeepers, and tellers. We are close to them in the pay area, but not in benefits: five weeks' vacation, 100% of their medical insurance, which includes life insurance.
It is a constant battle when they are hiring to keep good employees with the bank. Private business just can't compete.
We recently added an executive vice president, who does everything the CEO does in his absence and functions as the chief lending office.
Our economy is the brightest in the country. We are a $150 million-asset company, and we are lending $100 million a year. We are going gangbusters.
We have to pretty well stay staffed up. There have been two others [hired], a branch office supervisor and a construction lending person. We intend to do more construction loans than we have done in the past.
The construction person comes from a large bank, Banc One, the executive vice president came from a small bank in Denver, and the branch supervisor was outside banking, although she had 27 years in banking.